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Post-Baby Skin: Getting the Glow Back

by Katlyn Joy | March 28, 2014 4:57 PM
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Going through pregnancy and childbirth is a true rollercoaster of hormones, and all that fluctuation results in changes to virtually every body system. One area is the skin, your largest organ. While pregnant you may have been one of the lucky ones, who had the "glow of pregnancy." Or you might have had the worst acne breakouts of your life.

After baby's arrival, you may find yourself continuing to struggle with some pregnancy-related skin issues, or some new ones. Worse yet, you don't feel like yourself, haven't figured out a beauty regimen that works with two minute increments, around the baby's schedule and you are exhausted. Here are some common issues and how to cope.

Dry, Itchy Skin

Sometimes we go from the glow or extra oil in the skin, to the flakiness of motherhood. If you have dry skin, even if it is new for you, purchase skin products geared to dry skin. It may be a temporary adjustment, but don't treat your skin differently than it is presently behaving. Also, make sure you are not getting dehydrated, so down plenty of plain old h2O.

Spidery Veins on the Face and Body

Some women suffer from this problem after giving birth. If you are one of those, sorry to say, you can't find a fix in a bottle. However, you can cover it up with well matched and applied concealer on the face. Try self-tanners on other parts of the body. They do wonders in camouflaging those annoying highways of purple webs. For a permanent fix, see a dermatologist for laser treatments.

Acne

This may be particularly troublesome if it's new and you're nowhere near your teens. Hormones are such fun, aren't they? Don't let them get you down. Keep to a simple routine of a gentle face cleanser each morning and night and a lightweight moisturizer that won't clog pores. If you need more, try applying witch hazel after washing but before moisturizing. After you've finished breastfeeding you can apply more intense products such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. If that doesn't do the trick, see a physician for a prescription strength product to zap the zits for good.

The Mask of Pregnancy (Melasma)

Thought it would disappear after childbirth? Sometimes it just doesn't want to go. This discoloration of the skin on the face is best prevented and kept from worsening by avoiding the sun. Always use sunscreen when outdoors, regardless of weather. You can try microdermabrasion, whether at the doctor or an at home version, creams with vitamin A and retinoids, or other such products. But to be safe, check with your doctor first if you are still breastfeeding.

Stretch Marks

No matter how faithfully you dolloped on the cocoa butter or other concoctions, you cannot avoid stretch marks if you gained weight quickly and you have the genetic predisposition towards them. According to the Mayo Clinic, no treatment will be entirely successful in removing stretch marks. Some of the more successful options though include microdermabrasion, tretinoin creams and laser therapy. The sooner the stretch marks are treated, the better the outcome. If untreated, most stretch marks shrink and fade a bit over time.

Skin Tags

These weird little fleshy balls may appear in a variety of locations including the armpits, neck, eyelids and random other spots. You will need to see a physician to have these removed. Methods include freezing, burning or simple surgery as in a bit of a snip and they are gone.

Skin Sensitivity

You may find products irritating even if you used to use them regularly. You may get a reddish itchy rash, or contact dermatitis. Don't use more than one new product at a time, so you'll know the culprit if you have a reaction. Stop use immediately and try some gentle hydrocortisone. Should the rash worsen, see your health care provider for advice and treatment.


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